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Dev Psychol. 2001 Jan;37(1):126-34.

Self-representations and socioemotional competence in young children: a 3-year longitudinal study.

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  • 1Center for Developmental Psychology, Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium.


In a longitudinal study, the connections between children's self-representations at age 5 and their self-perceptions, socioemotional competence according to the teacher, and peer acceptance at age 8 were examined. The sample consisted of 60 children (33 boys, 27 girls). Self-representations at age 5 were assessed by the Puppet Interview (J. Cassidy, 1988). Results generally revealed the expected connections between the positiveness of self at age 5 and self-perceptions and socioemotional functioning 3 years later. These findings support the predictive validity of the Puppet Interview. Moreover, they suggest that young children do possess at least a rudimentary sense of being generally worthy and lovable, which can be assessed by using adequate, age-appropriate interviews.

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